Mac Miller @ 170 Russell, Melbourne, Tuesday, September 26 2017
Visiting Australia for Listen Out Festival, The Magnificent Mac Miller took a minute to “do some rap music” for a sold out crowd at Melbourne’s 170 Russell.
Sometimes it’s hard to measure just how popular some American rappers will be with Australian crowds. I’ve seen both ends of the spectrum; huge acts that flopped and relative unknowns absolutely bang. At first thought I wasn’t sure what we we’re going to get at a Mac Miller show, thankfully and unquestionably, it was the latter.
With his hype man in tow and the impeccable Clockwork behind the decks, the Pittsburgh rapper’s golden-tipped tongue had a bumper crowd in equal parts awe and euphoria. At times Miller’s flow is reminiscent of Eminem – his seamless transition from rapping to shouting and back again in the disconsolate Insomniak the most poignant example – but without missing a beat the vibe switches to the funky, Anderson .Paak assisted Dang! and all of sudden the comparisons flip to George Clinton or Rick James and at this point you realise that trying to liken the 25-year-old to anyone is pointless. One thing was definite though; Mac Miller can spit bars as hard as anyone – he never lost his breath, never stopped dancing and the crowd engagement never wavered.
Before playing 2011’s Donald Trump, a P.S.A was required to ensure the crowd knew he didn’t support the Orange Devil – ultimately though, the track stood out as one of the highlights of a packed set. With a huge back catalogue to choose from (four studio albums and an endless stream of mixtapes) the set list varied – from The Best Day Ever to GO:OD AM’s Weekends and 100 Grandkids and more recent hits Stay and That Favourite Part.
A brief trip to the hydration station and the rapper returned to finish his set with a pair of tracks and one of the most wiled out encores I’ve seen – ending on a hyped-out version of When In Rome.
Is it lazy to end the review with a pun about it being The Best Day Ever? Whatever.